More than 40 years ago, the four Machado brothers—Roger, Rigan, Carlos, and John—founded RCJ Machado Jiu-Jitsu to pass on the Brazilian martial-arts knowledge they acquired from the late jiu-jitsu master Carlos Gracie. Although the Machado brothers' legacy now spans TV and movie appearances, plus work with celebrities ranging from Chuck Norris to Usher, their school still takes new martial artists of all ages through the fundamentals and beyond. Some locations also include classes in kickboxing, MMA, and capoeira—a Brazilian blend of martial arts and dance.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
Name something you don't like about going to the gym, and chances are good that Brickhouse Cardio Club has done something to fix it. For one, members build a personal connection with their instructors, since every instructor is full--time and leads classes at the same time every week. Even before they join, members engage with the staff in a preliminary one-on-one session to go over their health history and determine their fitness goals. Even the studios have been meticulously designed to give students their best workout ever: the specialized hardwood floors are easy on the joints, and powerful sound systems help energize students and drown out the tiny cries of calories burning. The formula has worked well, as the club has established locations in nearly two dozen US states, plus one in Ontario.
Chris Brennan competed on mixed martial arts' highest stage in 1998, taking part in two bouts in the same evening at a UFC event. Not long after that, he founded Next Generation MMA, which has grown from a gym in Orange County, California, to six locations worldwide. At the Frisco location, Brennan and other experienced instructors such as Olympic gold-medalist wrestler Kendall Cross instill discipline, respect, and self-defense moves to children and adults at their 24-hour-access fitness center—one of the few 24-hour martial-arts centers around. Each of their martial-arts or martial-arts-inspired fitness classes offers an excellent workout, where members kick, jab, and punch bags and the air and learn to block attacks while building muscle and burning fat on Next Generation’s padded floor.
The martial arts and fitness gurus at Eagle Martial Arts aim to strengthen bodies while arming them with practical self-defense skills. The instructors combine elements from tae kwon do with mixed martial arts and kickboxing to teach students of all ages and skill levels the strikes and floor maneuvers necessary to outwit opponents in tournaments and on the street.
When Bendu's staff says they'll treat you like a champion, they mean it. These USA Boxing–registered coaches have trained professionals including Olympic Trial boxer Derrick Williams and CPT-Certified trainer Julia Kang. They bring this expertise to private or group lessons, whipping bodies into in-the-ring shape as they pit fists against bags and mitts in a cutting-edge boxing gym. Professionals and amateurs alike improve as they learn techniques such as offensive striking and tips including proper hand-wrap application, which is essential both for general safety and the portion of class in which attendees must remove hot hams from an oven.